Judo and the Maccabiah Games ג’ודו ומשחקי המכביה


I am currently writing an M.A. Thesis, part of which is  about martial arts in Israel.

On the  Israel Judo Association (IJA) it says, that in the 6th Maccabiah Games, in 1961, Judo was introduced for the first time  but not yet as competition sport. After it was done in 1964, on the Olympic games, A demand  was made to have Judo in the 1965 Maccabiah. This was an incentive to establish the IJA.

I have also read this claim on other websites.


Well, I was quite surprised to find  the following publication  that is part of my father’s legacy. My father was a major in the IDF. In 1961 he was stationed in the The publication was done for the Instruction Command (פיקוד הדרכה) : Pahad. This was a special  publication for Pahad’s annual sports day, Dated 17 October 1961

Pahadiada Edited (2) Pahadiada Edited

It says:


Judo was added to the last Maccabiah as a compulsory sport. This time There were only three countries competing: South Africa, Italy and Israel. One of the competitions took place in  Tzrifin.

It was an educational and enjoyable evening for all of those who witnessed  the magnificent shows, high fitness of the competitors, among them some who hold black belts that are senior ranks in this sport (except for a red belt held only by few in the world). In this sport is suitable for all people old and young, men and women alike.”

(The translation is mine, as far as the group picture).


However Dr. Zvi Tsameret writes in an article , based on his book: The Maccabiot: The Olympic Games of the Jewish people , that judo and jujutsu became competitive sports in the 2nd Macabbiah, that took place in 1935!.

(המכביות: המשחקים האולימפיים של העם היהודי  מחבר: ד”ר צבי צמרת )

Now what do you say about that?





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